I asked Howard yesterday to write a detailed legal opinion for me on the Oversee Release for all domainers to see. I hope you are sitting down. Don't do anything hasty. This is going to be another BARN BURNER! Howard is going to pick this apart one point at a time and I think he could go on even further with all the flaws he reveals.
*I, the undersigned,
individually and jointly, for myself and my successors, assigns, trustees,
partners, joint venturers, directors, officers, affiliates, associates,
managers, licensees, and for any other claiming through or under each or all of
them and for any person or entity with or for whom I may have purchased the
above mentioned names (collectively, the “Releasors”)
This means that you are signing this document to give away not
only any rights that you may have, but also the rights of others with whom you
may be associated in some way.
release and forever discharge, acquit, covenant not to sue and acknowledge
You are releasing possible claims that you may not even know you
SnapNames, and its past and present parent companies (including Oversee.net),
affiliates, successors, assigns, agents, attorneys, servants, representatives,
employees, independent contractors, trustees, administrators,
predecessors-in-interest, insurers, partners, joint venturers, stockholders,
members, directors, officers, parent companies, associated companies, holding
companies, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, associates, managers,
licensees, accountants and consultants of any of the foregoing (collectively,
This basically releases anyone, anything or any entity in the
whole world that has had anything whatsoever to do with Snapnames, Oversee,
their stockholders (including Brady), accountants (who may have been in
collusion – see ENRON) attorneys (who may have given bad advice), affiliates
(God knows who THEY are), licensees (what do THEY have to do with this?) and
for any and all claims, actions,
arbitrations, charges, complaints, grievances, hearings, causes of action,
actions, suits, damages, costs, expenses, judgments, liabilities, demands,
inquiries, investigations, proceedings or suits of every kind and nature
whatsoever, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, previously
existing, or now existing,or hereafter arising, in law or in equity
(collectively, the “Claims”),
This means that Snapnames, Oversee and all of the aforementioned
Usual Suspects can ride roughshod over you, your domains, your auctions, or any
possible FUTURE action that you may have with IMPUNITY. The one thing that they are presently
in short supply of is TRUST. Yet,
they are saying that if you sign this document which gives away every right
that you have, you can TRUST them that they won’t screw you again. That reminds me of the currently
running Apple ad where the PC is constantly saying “TRUST ME”.
which the Releasors or any of them had, may
have had, or now has, from the beginning of time to today’s date against the
Releasees, collectively, or any of the Releasees, individually, for or by
reason of any matter whatsoever relating to the auctions for and acquisition of
the Domains, including without limitation, any Claims relating in whole or in
part to the bidding activity of the SnapNames user associated with the user
name “halvarez” (the “Released Matters”)
This somewhat contradicts the previous statement of claims
“hereafter arising” by limiting the future to “today’s date”, but it is not as
charitable as you might first believe.
While the first statement including claims in the future goes to any
claims whatsoever, this portion is limited solely to claims arising out of the
actions of “Halvarez”. Thus, while
you are giving up any rights that you may have as to the “Halvarez” matter as
of the day you sign this ludicrous document, you are still giving up ALL RIGHTS
to any action or claim that you may now have or have IN THE FUTURE concerning
any of the activities of Snapnames, Oversee, and the Seven Dwarfs.
for damages, restitution, disgorgement,
unjust enrichment, civil penalties, statutory penalties, injunctive and/or
declaratory relief, whether class, individual, representative, or otherwise in
nature, including costs, expenses, penalties, and attorneys fees.
This may be the most insidious clause of all. Not only can you not claim damages now
OR IN THE FUTURE, but you must opt out of any class action or actions that may
be brought against these culprits and forget about any costs that you may incur
to protect your interests.
the Releasor is meaningfully educated by the Releasee as to both the nature of
the release and the risk involved, the release is invalid as a matter of law in
a number of jurisdictions.
Contracts intending to release one’s self from liability must be
strictly construed against the enforcing party. The law disfavors contractual provisions by which one party
seeks to immunize himself against the consequences of his own torts. Also, releases only limit liability for
risks specifically contemplated by the release.
therefore appear that this release is overly broad to the point of possibly
being at least partially invalid.
It is necessary that the express terms of the agreement be applicable to
the particular misconduct of the Releasee. If there was no misconduct on the part of Snapnames or
Oversee, then why would they need such a release?
The key to enforceability of a release is the knowledge on the part of the Releasor
of the exact nature of the agreement.
If things “known or unknown” are being intentionally hidden from the
Releasor, the agreement has no validity.
The bottom line here is not to rush into signing away your rights for a pot of
porridge. Let time reveal exactly
who the culprit or culprits are and determine where liability may lie. Then, and only then, can someone
intelligently sign a document giving away his rights for all eternity.
Thank you Howard!! This info should be invaluable in each and every domainer and illustrate in a legal way just what a mine field this agreement is and the ramifications of putting a signature on this GARBAGE! What we are witnessing is a disaster. What we are witnessing will shape how you do business for the rest of your lives. What we are witnessing is a company that is so scared to speak, that must have so many things and people to protect, they would rather implode before our very eyes than answer the questions that have been posed for days by multiple people. That is what it looks like to me in myopinion and that opinion is getting more and more common place. This is a sad day and I am at a loss. The worst handled mess I have ever seen. That's what you get with PR and Bean Counters and Lawyers running a BUSINESS. Let's have a MEETING!! For the sake of the industry and everyone in it, I beg the folks at Oversee to step forward and fix this before the point of no return. A point that I believe we are in the midst of passing. A sad day any way you look at it.Silence is deadly and being calculating is even worse when you have so many involved.